Pomegranate

fruit-bearing deciduous shrub

The pomegranate, botanical name Punica granatum, is a fruit-bearing deciduous shrub or small tree that grows between 5 and 10 m (16 and 33 ft) tall. The pomegranate originated in the region extending from Iran to northern India or Middle East.

Pomegranate
Pomegranate03 edit.jpg
Fruit of pomegranate split open showing the juicy seeds on the inside.
Scientific classification
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P. granatum
Binomial name
Punica granatum
Synonyms
  • Punica florida Salisb.
  • Punica grandiflora hort. ex Steud.
  • Punica nana L.
  • Punica spinosa Lam.[1]

Although previously placed in its own family Punicaceae, recent phylogenetic studies have shown that Punica belongs in the family Lythraceae, and it is classified in that family by the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group.

Today, it's widely cultivated throughout the Mediterranean countries.

HistoryEdit

Pomegranate has been used for thousands of years. Ancient people used it for high blood pressure, athletic performance, heart disease and diabetes. It's mentioned in Greek, Hebrew, Buddhist and Christian mythology and writings. It's described in records dating from around 1500 BCE as a treatment for tapeworm and other parasites. Pomegranate is one of the "seven kinds" of fruit mentioned in the Bible which Israel was blessed with long ago. It grew in the region for thousand of years and is very much adapted to:it sheds its leaves in the cold of our winters, while it sprouts in early spring when temperature rise. It ripens at the end of the summer, very close to the beginning of the Jewish New Year. it was and is used for decoration and blessing in ceremonies of the New Year celebration and the later holidays. It decorated temples in the past and appeared on ancient coins. Because of its decorative value in Israel, its selection was done mainly for external appearance , not so much for eating quality. Nice colour and crown are very important characteristics of the fruit. It was found in Indus Valley so early. It was cultivated in Egypt before the time of Moses. Arab caravans, many emanating from the lush oasis that was ancient Baghdad, probbably spread its use.

DistributionEdit

The pomegranate tree is native from Iran to Himalayas in Northern India and has been cultivated since ancient times throughout the Mediterranean region of Asia, Africa and Europe. The most important growing regions are Egypt, China, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iran, Iraq, India, Burma, Sri Lanka and Saudi Arabia. There are some commercial orchards in Israel on the coastal pain and in Jordan Valley.

NameEdit

The name "pomegranate" comes from medieval Latin pōmum "apple" and grānātum "seeded".[2]

The French term for pomegranate, grenade, has given its name to the military grenade.[3]

Common names in some other languages are:[4]

Punica granatum, the scientific name of the pomegranate, was given by Carolus Linnaeus in 1753 in Species Plantarum (Vol. 1, page 472).[5] Punica comes from the Latin name for the pomegranate, malum punicum, meaning "apple from Carthage",[6] and granatum from medieval Latin meaning "seeded", "with seeds".

DescriptionEdit

The pomegranate is a shrub or small tree that could grow up to 10 meters of height with many branches with spines. Leaves are opposite 3–7 cm (1.2–2.8 in) long and 2 cm (0.79 in) broad. The flowers are yellow to bright red and 3 cm (1.2 in) in diameter, with three to seven petals.[6]

Fruits are berries with a strong skin, like leather, intermediate in size between a lemon and a grapefruit, 5–12 cm (2.0–4.7 in) in diameter.[6] Fruits have many seeds with fleshy and edible coats (called sacrotesta). The number of seeds in a pomegranate can vary from 200 to about 1400.[7]

P. granatum var. nana is a dwarf variety of P. granatum popularly planted as an ornamental plant in gardens and larger containers, and used as a bonsai specimen tree.

Where it growsEdit

The pomegranate originated in the region of modern-day Iran, and has been cultivated since ancient times throughout the Mediterranean region and northern India.[6] It was brought into America in the late 16th century, including California, by Spanish settlers.[6]

Today, it is widely cultivated throughout the Middle East and Caucasus region, north and tropical Africa, the Indian subcontinent, Central Asia, the drier parts of southeast Asia, and parts of the Mediterranean Basin.[6] It is also cultivated in parts of Arizona and California.[8]

GalleryEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. "Punica granatum L., The Plant List, Version 1.1". Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and Missouri Botanical Garden. 2013. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
  2. Harper, Douglas (2015). "Etymology of pomegranate". Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
  3. Harper, Douglas (2015). "Etymology of grenade". Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
  4. "Taxon: Punica granatum L." U.S. National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS/GRIN). Retrieved 8 January 2017.
  5. Carolus Linnaeus. "Species Plantarum, Tomus I" (in Latin). p. 472. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 Morton JF (1987). "Pomegranate, Punica granatum L." Fruits of Warm Climates. Purdue New Crops Profile. pp. 352–5. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
  7. "Does a larger pomegranate yield more seeds?". AquaPhoenix. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
  8. "Pomegranate. California Rare Fruit Growers". Crfg.org. Retrieved 8 January 2017.

Annie has a big Panini

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